Cuccinelli gives $18k to charity to offset controversial gifts
September 10th, 2013
04:37 PM ET
7 years ago

Cuccinelli gives $18k to charity to offset controversial gifts

(CNN) – Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli picked a frenetic news day to announce he has given $18,000 to a Richmond-based charity in an attempt to allay criticism over gifts he received from the CEO of Star Scientific.

In a video posted to his website Tuesday, Cuccinelli said that he made the donation to an unnamed charity in recent days without saying when the check was written.

"I did this to resolve any questions surrounding the matter concerning Star Scientific," Cuccinelli said.

"I made the decision to send the check because it is the right thing to do, plain and simple."

Cuccinelli, the state attorney general, has been criticized for receiving gifts from Star Scientific by his Democratic rival for the governor's office, businessman and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe.

"For those who've been disappointed in this situation or how I've handled it, I apologize. It's been a humbling set of lessons for me," Cuccinelli said in the video announcing his donation.

Star Scientific and its CEO, Jonnie Williams Sr., whom Cuccinelli did not mention by name, are currently embroiled in a gift-giving controversy with outgoing Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. An ongoing federal investigation is currently looking into whether McDonnell improperly received more than $100,000 in gifts from the pharmaceutical company.

Virginia governor: From rising star to liability

McDonnell has denied wrongdoing. In July, the one-term Republican announced that he would be returning all the gifts he received. Virginia governors cannot serve consecutive terms.

A national Democratic super PAC, American Bridge 21st Century, was quick to respond to Cuccinelli's announcement by pointing out how long it has taken him to return the money.

In his statement, Cuccinelli said that the delay owed to the time it took to raise the funds.

"This is something that I would have liked to have done sooner, but like most Virginians, writing a check for $18,000 is not a simple matter for my family and me," Cuccinelli said.

Filed under: Ken Cuccinelli • Virginia
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Cooch is as big a crook as McDonnell.

    September 10, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. The Elephant in The Room

    This is like buying stolen property at a cut rate price [like an iphone] only to "give it away" when you know the cops are coming to arrest you because they have tracked it using the GPS function. This man is not fit to be the top law enforcement agent in Virginia and CERTAINLY NOT it's governor. Which journalist will have the cajones to say this publicly?

    September 10, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    What a load of crap. Had this been a Dem, he'd be getting grilled relentlessly for the entire episode. IOKIYAR IOKIYAR IOKIYAR

    September 10, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Tampa Tim

    This has been a bad week for right wingnuts, and it is only Tuesday. To borrow an idea from a friend who posts, "the baggers have run out of poop to fling.

    September 10, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    You still don't have my vote Cooch. Not to mention you make McDonnell look like a sane conservative compared to you.

    September 10, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. The Real Tom Paine

    So, one bribe to wipe away another....Christian Rightie morals in action.

    September 10, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Haha. You know what this is right? This fits perfectly into the GOP/Teatrolls' middle ages religious mindset. Look up "INDULGENCE," which was the practice of the church of "forgiving" sins in exchange for donations etc....and you can imagine where that led in terms of abuse by both the church and the rich and powerful. It's pretty much what Cooch thinks he's doing here...buying forgiveness via a "charitable" act.

    September 10, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli picked a frenetic news day to announce he has given $18,000 to a Richmond-based charity in an attempt to allay criticism over gifts he received from the CEO of Star Scientific."

    I'm not sure how the one bribe off-sets the other bribe?

    September 10, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. jinx9to88

    Its hilarious, he is only doing it because he got caught. What a joke!!!

    September 10, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. jinx9to88

    Where is Issa? We need another GOP witch hunt about a Democrat to balance out this article?

    September 10, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. don in albuquerque

    Oh, so if I rob a bank, it will be off set if I give half the money to the Boys Club? That's pretty handy. The new and improved Jebus at work.

    September 10, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. roro

    Thought he's sneak that in, did he?

    September 10, 2013 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  13. MB

    What was the "charity?" I'm guessing "People for Cuccinelli."

    September 10, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    You can give it ll back including the free jet ride and luxury accommodations but you can't give back your views against women.
    He's against birth control and has shut down clinics,. He was one of three AGs who refused to support the re authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. He introduced legislation for some of the most extreme divorce laws by forcing a mom trying to get out of a bad marriage, over the husband's objection, to prove adultery or physical abuse! Not even her husband abandoning her or going to jail is a reason for the wife to seek a divorce. He used his office to threaten women health providers and he thinks Scalia is too liberal.
    Has yet to say whether he supports equal pay for equal work.

    September 10, 2013 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Bill

    Thankfully, Mr. Personhood amendment will never be governor of Virginia.

    September 10, 2013 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    He's just as bad as McDonald, just another GOP payed off CROOK!!!!!!

    September 10, 2013 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  17. Jeff

    The Libertarian candidate becomes more appealing by the day....

    September 10, 2013 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  18. Thomas

    Where is Issa , we need to get to the bottom of this !

    September 10, 2013 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  19. S. B. Stein

    Just because he is giving money to charities doesn't make him better. He still made the mistake.

    September 10, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. constitutionalreset

    It was likely true that the gifts were actually gifts.
    It is likely true that it would have been awkward and impolitic to refuse the gifts.
    Cuccinelli should have understood that Virginia is a English common law state – where the relationship between that Commonwealth's agent (Cuccinelli) and Cuccinelli's principle in his office of AG (the Commonwealth) was such that gifts Cuccinelli received because he was AG belonged to the Commonwealth.

    This includes gifts of hospitality that were provided for the AG's office.
    Cuccinelli, as AG, should have just thanked the hospitality gift's donor in the name of the Commonwealth.

    Cuccinelli should have just transferred the non-hospitality gifts to the Commonwealth and not given the value of the hospitality gifts to charity.

    I believe that the federal law regarding gifts to the POTUS is merely a restatement of the English common law regarding principle, agent and gifts.

    September 10, 2013 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |

    Right wing extremists involved. ALWAYS follow the money. Can't wait to see the GOBP stuff Jeb Bush down the tea potty's throats Mitt the twit style.

    September 11, 2013 06:05 am at 6:05 am |